By Sarah Nelmes, Professional Recruiter
Whether you’re already in your dream job, or hoping to find it, it’s good to always be prepared to job search. We all want job security, but the reality is that it's never a guarantee. You could be at a startup or an established business, but change is inevitable and things beyond your control could prompt you into looking for something new. Make sure you’re always ready by doing a few things to set yourself up for success.
1. Keep your resume up to date. It’s so much easier to keep track of awards, projects, and general responsibilities as you do them versus a year later. You don’t want to be left scratching your head trying to pinpoint when Sharon gave you Employee of the Month, remembering which quarter you exceeded your goal so hard you broke the bonus matrix, or the name of that task squad where you helped streamline a process that saved the company $500k. Start by using the job description from when you got the job you’re currently in, or write down every possible thing you can think of that you do in your day-to-day as a starting point, then add the most relevant responsibilities, highlights, and accomplishments to your resume.
While the one-page resume is a thing of the past, you also don’t want to be applying to jobs with an autobiography. When there’s too much on a resume, it can be hard for a hiring manager to focus and find the skills they’re looking for. Consider hiring a professional resume writer or ask your recruiter friend for help before you start applying.
2. Brush up on your skills. In an ideal world we’d all be continuously seeking out learning opportunities and ways to grow and hone new skills. In reality it can be hard to make time for professional development, but it can be hugely beneficial. Some jobs require a certain level of education, certification or software experience. A lot of community centers and libraries offer low-cost or free courses. Your employer might even offer tuition assistance that you can take advantage of to boost your career. Invest in yourself, you’re worth it. It will pay off and give you a leg up on your competition.
3. You’re going to want to financially prepare by building up a shoe fund, I mean savings fund. It’s a good idea to have between 3-6 months of living expenses saved up, in case you find yourself in a position where the money stops coming in. Having money in the bank will allow you to take your time to make the right career move versus taking a job just to afford your La Croix addiction. Plus, having a savings is always a good idea, you know, because life happens.
4. If you’re not sure where to look for new opportunities, start by tapping into your network. Your community is one of the strongest job searching tools you have. We all know the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” so reach out to who you know. Email Christie who’s always talking about how much she loves her job. Chat up Brad who just posted a video on Insta from a boat about his most recent work team building event. Having a connection refer you to a position can help get your resume to the top of the stack of applicants and give you a better chance of securing an interview. Not only is using your network a great way to find new opportunities, but bonus, you’ll also get the real real from your friend on what the work culture is actually like before you join.
Being prepared will take the stress out of the job search and make you even more marketable. Whether it’s your decision to job search or you’re in the market due to a change in circumstances, following the steps above can help you land a new job faster.